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Experts ponder reason for 2015 traffic death increase

e United States motorists drove 3.5 percent more vehicle miles in 2015 compared to 2014, and this is one reason for the higher number of traffic deaths that year. There were 35,092 fatalities in 2015. After several years of a decline this represented the biggest single-year percentage increase since 1966, and Missouri residents may wonder if there were other contributing factors.

Although more cars on the road was one reason, experts still raised concerns about the higher rate. According to Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, safety experts, researchers, data scientists and others all need to work together to find out how the fatality rate might be lowered.

Fewer drunk drivers, more seat belt users and more safety technology are all believed to have been reasons for the declining fatalities over the past decade. However, in 2015, around 10 percent of the fatalities were related to accidents that involved distracted driving. Just under one-third of the fatal accidents had speeding or drunk driving as a factor, and almost half of the people killed were not wearing seat belts.

The survivors of a person who is killed in a fatal automobile accident often must deal with financial issues in addition to their grief. They need to pay the costs of burying their loved one, and in many cases they must find a way to replace the contribution to household finances that the decedent made. When the accident was caused by the negligence of another motorist, an attorney could suggest a wrongful death lawsuit as one way of seeking compensation for those and other losses.

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